15 Somali pirates to be prosecuted here


07-March-2012

The acceptance of those suspected pirates from the US Forces follows the entente between President James Michel and the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, that the United States would endeavour to continue reinforcing Seychelles’ capacity in the fight against piracy and collaborate with Seychelles in common actions against piracy in a proactive manner.

Seychelles has today the highest percentage of Somali pirates in detention anywhere, amounting to 20% of its total prison capacity, which represents a huge burden on the prison system and restricts Seychelles capacity, in terms of being able to incarcerate further Somali pirates.

“However, by accepting an additional fifteen pirate suspects, Seychelles wishes to send a clear signal to the international community that it will continue to do its utmost in the fight against piracy and in bringing suspected pirates to justice,” says a communiqué from the Ministry of Home  Affairs, Environment, Transport and Energy.

During his meeting with Mrs Clinton, British Prime Minister David Cameron and the United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon at the London Conference on Somalia, President Michel reiterated the urgent need for the international community to continue its capacity building programme in Somalia, such that convicted pirates, including those from Seychelles, could be transferred back to Somalia to serve their prison sentences. This would subsequently allow Seychelles to do more in terms of prosecution of pirates.

Minister Morgan, the minister responsible for Home Affairs, has said that after consultation with the Attorney General, it appears that there may be a strong case for prosecution of those 15 suspected pirates.

He said that Seychelles was determined to send a clear signal to the Somali pirates that it will not permit their villainous acts to continue to be perpetuated with impunity and that it will use all the means that it has at its disposal to counter and interdict this.

Minister Morgan also noted that two Seychellois fishermen are still being held captive in Somalia and that all-out efforts are continuing to secure their release.

He said that the Somali pirates holding the Seychellois hostages were however making impossible and unreasonable demands in the negotiations, which made for very slow progress despite having a strong and experienced team dealing with this negotiation.

He expressed the government’s commitment to persevere to secure the release of Rolly Tambara and Marc Songoire, the two Seychellois hostages.

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